Wane: One of toughest performances I’ve seen

Nick Gregson is congratulated after his first try for Wigan
Nick Gregson is congratulated after his first try for Wigan

Shaun Wane was gushing in his admiration for his players after Wigan battled to a 26-12 victory over Castleford.

He described the display as “one of the toughest performances I’ve seen in a long time” after several climbed off the sick bed to play.

John Bateman - appearing for the first time since Easter Monday - was among those hit by a virus. He scored two tries in the final 20 minutes, sandwiching Nick Gregson’s debut try for the club, to secure an ultimately deserved win.

The victory moved the Warriors to third, and helped repair their bruised reputation following the 62-0 thrashing at Wakefield five days earlier.

And Wane - still missing eight frontline players through injury - said: “We showed loads of character.

“I don’t want to keep going on about it, but the admiration I’ve got for the players is unbelievable.

“Before the game there were people spewing and coughing, but they showed desire - they wanted to play after what happened last week.

“The character they showed... that was one of the toughest performances I’ve seen in a long time.

“Sam Powell shouldn’t have played but we had no-one else. I can’t tell you how much admiration I have for them.”

Wigan trailed 12-8 early in the second-half before taking control and finishing strongly.

“Cas are well-coached, they have some good individuals, and I don’t want to whinge about the ref’ but we did it tough,” said Wane, who had seen Lewis Tierney cross in the opening half.

Matty Smith finished with a perfect five goals from as many attempts and prop Dom Crosby made a successful return after six months out following hip surgery.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell conceded Wigan deserved the victory for their low-error, efficient display in the second-half.

He said: “Their last try gave it an easier look than it was.

“It was tight all the way through but we lacked a bit of quality. They put us under pressure and deserved to win the game.

“On the back of what happened to them last week, they’ll be pleased they battled to that.”